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Pension In Jamaica
How Do I Collect My Pension If I Live Overseas?

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Pension In JamaicaPension In Jamaica

by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer

For every country, there is an age stage that most look forward to, retirement. And again, most countries have a national pension scheme to replace the loss of income through retirement. In Jamaica, this is the National Insurance Scheme.

Additionally, if you were a public servant (teacher, police officer, soldier, etc.), you may also qualify for a government pension in Jamaica as well.

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For every working person in Jamaica over 18, payments to the NIS are mandatory. This includes those working in Jamaica but are not citizens of the country. Provisions are made to facilitate payment for employed, self-employed and voluntary contributors.

If you relocated for a number of years but you maintained your NIS contributions you are still qualified.

But you’ve been through all of that already, and now it’s time to retire. First of all congratulations!

How to Apply For NIS Pension In Jamaica

You will need:

For those residing in Jamaica

The proof of account number must be presented in a way that allows it to be photocopied. This can be a bank account, a letter from the bank or having the bank stamp and your application letter. The application letter should also be signed and stamped by a Justice of the Peace or other notary public.

For those living overseas

For retired persons residing abroad, you will still be able to apply for your NIS benefits.

The application can be completed online or, a printed copy along with the original copies of the documents listed above can be brought into the office. If you are unable to make it to Jamaica, the original documents can be notarised by a notary public and sent to the head office in Kingston.

If you are living overseas, your pension will be sent to you via mail as a cheque.

Life Certificates

When you begin receiving your cheque, both pensioners living in and outside of Jamaica will start to receive life certificates every four months. These should be completed and sent back to the office in a timely manner.

They will be mailed to you and after it is completed, you can either, mail them back or bring them to the NIS office nearest to you.

For those living overseas

For persons living overseas, it is okay to mail their life certificates in. However, the mail might be late which will delay the release of your pension to you. So, if you have a workaround to this it would be best to use that alternative.

How is NIS Pension Calculated?

Pension is at a percentage of the current rate depending on the number of years you contributed to the scheme.

Those who worked for up to 10 years will receive a ¼ of the rate, 11-25 years will receive ¾ and over 26 years will receive the full rate for their pension.

NIS pensioners also receive a Sagicor health card as part of their pension package. This is to offset the costs of doctor’s visits and pharmacy trips. As soon as your pension is approved, your name will be sent over to Sagicor and your card processed and sent to you.

Is NIS Pension In Jamaica Taxed?

No the pension given by the National Insurance is not taxed.

What happens if a pensioner dies? Who do the NIS benefits go to?

In some cases, the pension is transferred to the surviving loved ones of the deceased person. This includes:

  • Special Child Benefit - payable to the guardian of a child or children under the age of 18 whose mother has died and whose father’s whereabouts are unknown.

  • Orphan Benefit - payable to the guardian of a child or children under the age of 18 whose parents were married or in an established common-law relationship, and are now deceased.

  • Employment Injury Death Benefit - payable upon the death of an employee as a result of an accident arising out of and in course of insurable employment, or from any of the diseases prescribed by the National Insurance Act which can be attributed to the nature of the job.

  • Widow’s/Widower’s Benefit - payable to the spouse of a deceased NIS contributor or pensioner. This benefit does not begin automatically, there are a few steps that must be taken first including applying for the benefit and submitting proof of death (a death certificate). If the deceased was collecting his/her pension via the pension book, the remaining pages should be brought into the office.

Will widow’s/widowers’ pension benefits cease if the surviving partner remarries?

Yes, as long as the surviving partner remarries, National Insurance Scheme pension benefits will cease.

Ministry Of Labour and Social Security

NIS Offices

Address: 18 Ripon Road, Kingston 5, Jamaica

Phone: 929-7145-6 929-7177 Fax: 960-0198 960-8761

If you were a public sector worker, then you might qualify for your government pension as well.

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References & Sources For Pension In Jamaica

  1. National Insurance Scheme,
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